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Arsenal backup keeper transfer rumors: Alex Rúnarsson and David Raya

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The Gunners are looking to bring in a new backup keeper to replace Emi Martinez.

Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon FCO - Ligue 1 Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

With the sale of Emi Martinez to Aston Villa, Arsenal are looking for a new backup keeper. The Gunners’ preferred target is David Raya from Brentford, but they’ve also been linked to Alex Rúnarsson, according to a number of reports. Both keepers have worked with Arsenal goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana, Raya at Brentford in the Championship and Rúnarsson FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark.

Raya is by far the more expensive of the pair and would cost around £10M. Brentford are in no hurry to sell and don’t want to, according to David Ornstein. Ornstein says the Championship side are reluctant to engage in preliminary talks over a possible transfer.

Rúnarsson would cost somewhere in the £1-2M range but isn’t as highly rated as a keeper. He struggled in his first season in Ligue 1, conceding 9 goals more than expected based on the data. His struggles prompted the club to bring in Alfred Gomis, who stared 19 games to Rúnarsson’s 9 last season. I’d wager he’d be just fine as a backup keeper with a better defense in front of him. Dijon have toiled near the bottom of the table the last two seasons, and last year, Rúnarsson’s actual versus expected goals conceded were basically the same.

It’s pretty clear that Arsenal do not rate Matt Macey as a backup and that they are going to buy somebody for the #2 role this season. Whoever that ends up being, the Gunners will end up with a tidy profit on the difference between the £20M they got for Martinez and whatever they spend on a new backup.